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Apply to join our UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Citizen-Centred Artificial Intelligence


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Applications are now closed, please stay tuned for more information

We are recruiting students, from any discipline, to join Northumbria University’s 4 year PhD programme at the UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Citizen-Centred Artificial Intelligence (CCAI) – a Centre that will place the citizen at the forefront of new AI developments.

The application deadline is 5pm, Monday 8th April, 2024 with a start date of September, 2024. We will offer stipends for full-time study of £18,622 per year to UK (home) students and pay full tuition fees. Studentships are also available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis in combination with work of personal responsibilities. We will open the process to international applicants in future years.

We expect that our cohort of students will work closely with our non-academic partners to ensure that the citizen voice is heard throughout the design, development, implementation and evaluation stages of AI innovation.  Note that no prior AI expertise is needed, foundational training in AI will be offered and a personalised training plan will be developed for students at the outset.


We are interested in research proposals that investigate AI in relation to the themes below:

Please visit the above research themes for more details as well as references you may draw on in your application.   

Timeline and Application Process 2024

February and March: As part of our strategy to actively promote Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion we will be hosting 4 pre-application workshops in February and March 2024 to support interested applicants in developing a research proposal. You can find more information here.

April: Applicants should apply online (link below), their application should comprise a research proposal, a CV and an (optional) personal statement (see below) by the deadline of 5pm Monday 8th April 2024.

June: Interviews will be held online in early June. We will share more information regarding the interview format prior to the interview and candidates will be notified in late June.  

September: The programme will start on the 23rd of September 2024.


The Application

Research proposals should be approximately 1000 words in length and outline novel research projects that align with our Citizen-Centred AI research themes. They should describe and justify (i) the AI and society related challenge that the research aims to address (ii) proposed methodology and/or methods, (iii) a brief state of the art literature review, and (iv) any ethical, equality, diversity and inclusion implications. We provide a list of references within each research theme webpage that you may draw on when preparing your proposal. We also encourage applicants to use diverse literature relevant to their specific challenge. 

Please submit a 2-page CV outlining your education and work history, key achievements and any relevant publications you have been a part of. Please note that we do not expect applicants to have had prior research publications.   

We also encourage applicants to submit a personal statement, especially if they identify with a societal group less represented within Computer Science and/or Higher Education Research (e.g. Women, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Disabled, LGBTQIA+, first generation student, student from a low-income household, carer etc.). Personal statements should be approximately 700 words in length and should (i) Outline your learning and career journey, including any career/learning breaks taken (ii) Reflect on systemic barriers that may have impacted your learning and career journey- highlighting how you navigated those barriers.  These will be reviewed by a specialist panel with expertise and/or lived experience in issues related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Academic excellence i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities with preference for 1st class honours); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

Applicants cannot apply if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Due to the short recruitment timeline, we are unable to recruit international students this year. However, we will be open to international applicants for the academic year of 2025-26. 

To be classed as a Home student, candidates must:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.
  • If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

Please note: Studentships are only available to Home applicants


You will be required to provide this research code in the research proposal section of the online application form:


Please click below to begin your online application:

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